On our morning walk today, walking through rain which was almost petering out, Biscuit seemed to reassure me that he does not mind being blanked out in a few episodes of my daily log. This clarification is in order because his absence from my yesterday’s narrative has not been taken kindly to by his entrenched constituency. He tells me and I quote that he does not care for politics and religion, guess that must be the secret of his happy and uncomplicated life! I have been giving him a small stroll before I leave for work (this is in addition to the mandatory morning and evening visits of his to his constituency mind you!). He has earned this after I took him out a few times to help him in his bladder control (is he getting old!). Now he has claimed it as a matter of right and promptly at 9 AM (he does not take excuses of my returning late from run!) he is all over me demanding his ride down in the lift. Wish I could be as enthusiastic riding down the lift for going to work after leaving him back at home.
I left at 4:05 AM today and the newly laid tar road was still steaming from the rain having fallen over hot mix. This also meant whatever loose tarred stone chips were there did not stick to my sole and my soles could glide smoothly over the virgin surface. Some sleep deficit in the last few days had me tempted to bunk the run and continue my sleep. I then thought of all the night denizens from ATM guards to all night petrol bunk operators who would miss me and decided against.
Rain had completely stopped by the time I entered Mahatma Gandhi road, it was as if it had come just to tempt me into starting the run knowing fully well that once started there was no way I would return without my usual dosage of endorphins. Wet pavement on the beach road was slippery and I chose to run on the edge of the road for better grip. This however meant some discomfort for the soles from the loose stones lying there.
Contrary to expectation, there were a few cows having an early breakfast and one of them did condescend to heed to my overtures and take the banana peels from my hand. Workers were continuing to relay the pavement across the road fully drenched from the overnight rain. The side effects of wooing the long departed Global Investors continue to pockmark the city. The sanitary workers were chirpier as the cool weather after the rain seemed to liven up their spirits. Ginger tea vendor was making a quick buck when the rainy day lasted. The dogs at the foot of the Labour statue were relieved that their gravy train arrived on time despite the rainy weather. The usual friendly jostle and a few growls were on display as they queued up for breakfast.
The attendance of walkers was thin today, but, the few diehards like me were around to ensure that I did not lack my daily supply of morning greetings. The fall in numbers was made up by the enthusiasm of greeting. It was as if we were telling each other how good we were to having stuck to our routine come rain or shine! The pavements were clear of the sleeping people except under bus shelters with their canine friends sharing the humble cloth used by the person for covering himself.
The runners and bikers were also sparse today, but, it may not be due to the rain. They could have been practicing in some other part of the city. The police guards outside the secretariat had moved to the safety of the gumti, but, I am sure Hubli passenger’s passing must have been noted in their nightly log. Comrade Ram Rajagopalan was at his saddle as usual and crossed me more than once when I did the Island ground loop.
When I was on my way back to Lighthouse in the first loop (the pavement had dried sufficiently to let me claim the pavement) near Netaji Bose statue a runner (I got introduced later to Thomas Paulose P from Soles of Cochin!) came alongside me and we ran together for the rest of my run. Our pace matched and barring a little introductory talk both of us ran silently enjoying the weather to the soft tap of two barefoot runners. He joined me in my second loop also.
We ran on the road from Napier bridge to Mahatma Gandhi statue on the opposite to avoid the crowd on the walkers pavement. A bad accident between State transport bus and an autorickshaw (which was badly mangled, I hope there were no passengers in the auto!). There was a huge crowd which always gathers at the site of an accident.
I showed him my water point outside AVM Kalyana Mantapam where we took a drinks break. We ran together till the intersection of MG Road and Haddows road. It was nice to have had his company for some part of the run. I reached home at 7:45 AM, 3:40 for a 32K.